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Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Procedures

Title IX Compliance and Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Investigative Procedures for Students

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Title IX prohibits gender discrimination and sexual harassment which includes acts of sexual violence.

The University of Tampa is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination based on sex and provides a number of resources and services to assist students, faculty and staff in addressing all aspects of discrimination including issues involving gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and relationship violence, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. The University of Tampa will provide written notification to students and employees about existing counseling, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid and other services available for victims, both within the institution and in the community. Students are prohibited from conduct that violates Title IX under the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy.

Upon notice of alleged sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the University will take prompt and effective steps to end and eliminate any sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects on the complainant and/or University community. Once the University is notified of possible sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the complainant will be offered appropriate confidential support and other resources. The University will take appropriate steps to prevent and/or address retaliation as a prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct. The respondent will also be offered appropriate confidential support and other resources and notified of applicable institutional policies. If needed, the Title IX coordinator or designee will help to coordinate the services provided for the complainant and/or respondent by various University offices. Students and/or employees who report violations of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy are entitled to a written explanation of rights and options. Students may receive these written rights from the Office of Student Conduct. Employees may contact Human Resources directly for information regarding grievance procedures related to faculty and staff.

Policy Coverage and Jurisdiction

Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence (part XVIII) is contained...

Policy Coverage and Jurisdiction

Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence (part XVIII) is contained within the University Policies. As noted in the Student Code of Conduct, The University of Tampa reserves the right to adjudicate conduct that occurs on or off campus. This includes the disciplining or dismissal of any student or registered student organization whose conduct on or off campus violates the Student Code of Conduct, including the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy.

Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinators

Compliance with the law is everyone’s responsibility at The University of Tampa...

Compliance with the law is everyone’s responsibility at The University of Tampa. Listed below are the staff members who have primary responsibility for Title IX compliance.

Title IX Coordinator
Donna Popovich, Executive Director
Human Resources
Walker Hall 103 (temporary location)
Phone: (813) 253-6237
dpopovich@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Leander Hamilton, Manager, Title IX and Strategic Workplace Compliance
Human Resources
Walker Hall 103 (temporary location)
Phone: (813) 253-2748
lehamilton@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students
Tim Nelson, Director of Student Conduct
Office of Student Conduct
Vaughn Center 202
Phone: (813) 258-7228
tnelson@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Athletics
Jennifer Alger, Assistant Director Academic and Student Services/Senior Woman Administrator
Athletics
Martinez Athletic Center 126
Phone: (813) 257-3000
jalger@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Academic Affairs
C. Jay Pendleton, Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs
Phone: (813) 257-3147
Plant Hall, Room 202
cpendleton@ut.edu

Reporting Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence

All employees of the University (including staff, faculty and University officials) who...

Responsible Employee Obligations

All employees of the University (including staff, faculty and University officials) who are not considered confidential employees and certain student workers are considered responsible employees. Not all students who receive compensation from the University are responsible employees. In order for a student worker to be a responsible employee, he or she must have the authority to take action to redress sexual misconduct or relationship violence; must have been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual misconduct or any other misconduct by students; or must be an individual to whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority. In addition, the disclosure must be made to the student worker in his or her capacity as a student worker.

All responsible employees are obligated to report all given information of sexual misconduct and relationship violence to the Title IX coordinator or deputy Title IX coordinator.

How to file a report of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence

File a Public Report

All students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to file a complaint of sexual misconduct and relationship violence in any of the following ways:

  • by contacting the Title IX coordinator or deputy Title IX coordinator listed above;
  • by filing an incident report on the Office of Student Conduct website by utilizing the Public Report Form;
  • by reporting to any responsible employee or campus security authority;
  • by consenting to a confidential employee to share information with the Title IX coordinator or deputy Title IX coordinator.

Confidential Reports and Victim Advocacy

The University designates members of the staff or faculty to serve as confidential employees. Confidential employees such as victim advocate(s) or University counselors are obligated to withhold personal identifiable information of sexual misconduct reported by a student, unless consent is given by the student to whom they are providing services.

The University of Tampa offers victim advocacy services to any student who has been the victim of a violent crime. The program is staffed with trained advocates who are designated by the Office of the Attorney General in the state of Florida to provide victim services. An advocate may be contacted during the fall and spring semesters through the victim advocate hotline (813) 257-3900 or by contacting the Department of Campus Safety. During summer terms or between academic terms, advocates may be contacted solely through the Department of Campus Safety. You may always contact an advocate by emailing victimadvocacy@ut.edu.

Reports to Law Enforcement/Agencies

The University encourages anyone who believes they have experienced sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence to make a report to the Department of Campus Safety if the misconduct or violence occurred on campus, or to local law enforcement, for misconduct occurring off campus. Collection and preservation of evidence relating to the reported sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence is essential for law enforcement investigations, so prompt reporting of the incident to law enforcement is critical.

Designated University staff will, upon request, assist individual(s) in making reports to the Department of Campus Safety and/or appropriate law enforcement agency. For reports of off-campus sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the Department of Campus Safety will assist in identifying the appropriate jurisdictional law enforcement agency to assist in filing the report.

If a report of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence is made directly to the Title IX coordinator or designee, which may also constitute a crime, the Title IX coordinator or designee will notify the Department of Campus Safety to ensure appropriate distribution of University-wide warnings, if needed, and maintenance of accurate reporting statistics.

Please note individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence may decline to make a report to a law enforcement agency.

Assumption of Good Faith Reporting

The University presumes that reports of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence are made in good faith. A finding that the reported incident does not constitute a violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy, or that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the incident occurred as reported, does not mean that the report was made in bad faith. The University encourages all individuals who have experienced or witnessed behavior they believe violates the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy to report the matter so that it may be addressed, without fear of consequences from the University.

Interim Actions

The Office of Student Conduct and/or Title IX coordinator or designee...

Interim Actions

  1. The Office of Student Conduct and/or Title IX coordinator or designee may impose interim actions prior to, or during an incident review, hearing board meeting, registered student organization investigation, and/or sexual misconduct and relationship violence investigation. Interim actions will be imposed in the following circumstances:
    1. To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or preservation of University property;
    2. To ensure a student’s and or registered student organization’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being;
    3. To ensure the integrity of the investigative and/or student conduct process;
    4. If a student or registered student organization poses a threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operations of the University; or
    5. Any other circumstances where the Office of Student Conduct and/or Title IX coordinator or designee determines, in its sole discretion, the interim actions to be in the best interest of the University or its community.
  2. The Office of Student Conduct and/or Title IX coordinator or designee shall have the sole authority to make a final decision on the appropriate interim action, and it may select any action from all of the available actions that it finds appropriate under the circumstances at issue. Whenever an interim action is imposed, the Office of Student Conduct will convene the formal student conduct process as soon as possible pending the normal due process requirements and upon consideration of the circumstances.

Notification of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Investigation

The Title IX coordinator, or designee, will notify the...

Notification of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Investigation

  1. The Title IX coordinator, or designee, will notify the responding student of the alleged sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence. A meeting will be scheduled with the Title IX coordinator or designee and the responding student. The responding student will be notified at least one business day prior to the scheduled meeting. The responding student may bring an adviser to this meeting.

  2. The responding student if participating will meet with the Title IX coordinator or designee. At this meeting, the responding student will be able to review the written complaint of sexual misconduct and relationship violence. At the conclusion of this meeting, the Title IX coordinator or designee will assign the investigator(s) who will investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence.

Investigation of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence

In all cases, the University will respond to the complaint in a...

Investigation of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence

In all cases, the University will respond to the complaint in a prompt, thorough, procedurally fair, impartial and effective manner. Upon receipt of a complaint, the University will strive to complete its review in a timely manner. If the University is unable to complete the process within a timely manner, the Title IX coordinator or designee will provide an update to the complainant and respondent(s). Investigations will consist of a thorough fact-finding investigation. Throughout the process, the complainant and respondent(s) may have an advisor present for all meetings.

Investigation Report

The investigator(s) will prepare a preliminary written report at the...

Investigation Report

  1. The investigator(s) will prepare a preliminary written report at the conclusion of their initial fact finding and then a final written report at the conclusion of their investigation. Before the preliminary report is finalized, the complainant and respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to review and comment on their individualized statements. These statements will not be eligible for editing after the release of the preliminary report. The complainant and respondent(s) may review the investigator's preliminary report without the investigator's summary of findings. The complainant and respondent(s) will be scheduled for a meeting with the Title IX coordinator or designee to facilitate the review of the preliminary report. A complainant or respondent must submit any comments about the preliminary report within two business days after reviewing the preliminary report.

  2. Following the receipt of any comments submitted, or after the two business day period has lapsed without comment, the investigator(s) will address any identified factual inaccuracies or misunderstandings as appropriate at their discretion and complete a final written report. Investigator(s) will use the preponderance of the information standard to make determinations of responsibility in investigative reports.

Notification of Outcome and Sanctioning of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Violations

The University of Tampa will notify the complainant and respondent(s) of the...

Notification of Outcome and Sanctioning of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Violations

The University of Tampa will notify the complainant and respondent(s) of the outcome and sanctions (if applicable) simultaneously. In instances where the respondent(s) are found responsible for sexual misconduct and relationship violence, the University will initiate a sanctioning process designed to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects, while supporting the University’s educational mission and Title IX obligations.

Appeal of Decision

Either party (complainant or respondent) may appeal the determination...

Appeal of Decision

  1. Either party (complainant or respondent) may appeal the investigator(s)’ findings. Parties may file an appeal to the vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students within two business days of notification of the outcome to their University email account. A party may only seek an appeal within these specific guidelines.
    1. To determine whether the original investigation was conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures. If a procedural error occurred, it needs to be sufficient to alter the decision of the case.
    2. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, that was not available at the time of the original investigation, because information and/or facts could not have been known at the time of the investigation.
  2. The vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students or designee, in their sole discretion, will determine if the appeal is eligible for review by meeting the criteria outlined above. The vice president and dean of students or designee has the authority to render the following decisions based on their limited review:
    1. Deny the appeal based on failure to meet established appeal criteria.
    2. Affirm the decision of the original investigator(s).
    3. Accept the appeal and refer the case for a re-investigation by a new investigator(s). The new investigator(s) will receive all statements given by any parties that were interviewed. This information will be provided to the new investigator(s) by the director of Student Conduct or designee. The new investigator(s) will not receive any conclusions or outcome from the original report.

  3. All appeal decisions are final. Students will be notified within 10 business days of the appeal decision via their University email account.